Floyd Mayweather Jr invokes race in retirement conversations ahead of exhibition fight
legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is undefeated in his professional career, winning 50 fights and 15 world titles.
The 46-year-old still competes in exhibition matches, with his final fight against the grandson of US crime boss John Gotti due to take place next month.
Mayweather spoke with Fox News Digital on Thursday about the June 11 fight with John Gotti III, which will take place at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida.
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“When you’re preparing for an exhibition, it’s totally different,” Mayweather explained of his training. “Because when it’s all on the line for a fight, it’s about feeding your family. It’s about being victorious. It’s about the story.”
“As far as doing an exhibition, it’s about entertaining people,” he continued. “Of course, even in a regular fight it’s all about entertaining, but that’s a bit different. When I’m training for an exhibition, it keeps me in shape, allows me to exercise, my cardio.”
Mayweather’s last professional victory came in August 2017 against the MMA legend Conor McGregor, a fight he won in the 10th round via TKO. Since then he has been in several exhibitions, most recently against former Bellator MMA fighter Aaron Chalmers in February.
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Mayweather was also asked why he continues to fight in exhibition matches in retirement.
He said he did it to stay in shape, among other reasons, but also called out those he thought wouldn’t ask “white Americans” the same question.
“They want to wonder when black people are still going out and having fun,” he said. “If I was being punished harshly, or if I was taking beatings, or if I could barely walk and talk, then I can see myself not coming out to entertain.”
He continued: “But we never wonder when Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, the Waltons — when white Americans, Caucasians, go out and make money and make billions, we don’t ask why they don’t take their retirement.
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“So I’m retired. I just keep my body in shape, I have fun, I do what I want.”
Mayweather went on to say that his endeavors outside of the boxing ring always kept him busy, but he entered exhibition matches mainly to stay in shape and stay “ambitious”.
“I do what I want to do because I want to, not because I have to,” he said.
Gotti is an MMA fighter and professional boxer. He is 2-0 in his boxing career and 5-1 in mixed martial arts.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach hosts “Fight Week,” which begins June 8 with a pre-fight press conference with Mayweather and Gotti. The official weigh-in will take place on June 10.